1136-1137

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1136-1137 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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-p1136-

The Chairman. So that their dependence for fuel for this purpose is upon foreign ports entirely.

Mr. Simpson. Yes.

The Chairman. They ought to make a good market for coal between Honolulu and Seattle?

Mr. Simpson. Do not say Seattle. That is the poorest coal on the Pacific coast.

Senator Gray. Have you good coal in the Northwest?

Mr. Simpson. Yes; we have good coal in the mines that have been worked a long while. Now, about the woods; the indigenous woods of the Hawaiian Islands number 150 kinds. The insects have done considerable damage to them; the most common is the borer, a species of bug. I may say right there, on account of the limited amount of wood on the islands the question of rain has become quite a serious matter. When hogs and cattle became so plentiful they were turned loose, and they rooted up the trees and roamed wild, and the greatest sport they get down there is hunting wild cattle. They have destroyed all the trees below 2,000 feet, and they passed laws while I was there prohibiting them cutting trees except for firewood.

The Chairman. When you say the cattle destroyed the trees you mean they ate the foliage and under plants?

Mr. Simpson. Yes. Of indigenous woods the most common are the Oahea.

The Chairman. I do not care to go into that wood subject. My question was about getting fuel for steam navigation in the islands.

Mr. Simpson. On Oahu is the best, at $13 per cord in 4-foot lengths. And right there I would state that I sold, strange as it may seem, quite a quantity of firewood. I have an order from one firm in Honolulu to fill up whatever space we had with firewood from Puget Sound.

The Chairman. You sold that to be delivered, but you never got a chance to deliver it?

Mr. Simpson. No.

The Chairman. Where did you get the data that you now hand me in relation to the commerce between the United States and Hawaii??

Mr. Simpson. From the annual reports of the collector-general of customs of the Hawaiian Islands, and from reports emanating from the Treasury Department of the United States. One verified the other.

The Chairman. Are you satisfied that the figures that are based upon that data are correct?

Mr. Simpson. I am. The figures are as follows: The total export and import trade of Hawaiian Islands from first year of official data recorded, 1855, to December 31,1892, amounts to $265,136,486, the imports being $98,981,325 and exports $166,155,251. This is with all countries. The first year in which there is a complete record of the business done between the United States and Hawaiian Islands was the year 1870. The total amount of merchandise and bullion exported to and imported from Hawaiian Islands from 1870 to 1892, inclusive, is valued at $203,145,447, divided as follows:

Exported to Hawaiian Islands.

Imported from Hawaiian Islands.

Total.

Merchandise

$55,183,611

$138,670,737

193,854,348

Bullion

8,108,508

1,182,591

9,291,099




Total

63,292,119

139,853,328

203,145,447

-p1137-

The above table gives some idea of the profit which has accrued to the American traders from the Hawaiian Islands traffic. The United States secured from the Hawaiian Islands during a period of twenty-two years----

Merchandise and bullion to the value of

$139,853,238

For which they returned merchandise and bullion to the value of

63,292,119


Showing a balance of trade in favor of the United States of

76,561,209

The reciprocity treaty went into effect in September, 1876. The net total excess of imports over exports of both merchandise and bullion up to 1877 was $3,139,997. By deducting this amount from the net balance of trade from 1876 to 1892 the amount derived, $73,421,212, represents the balance of trade in favor of American traders under the operation of the reciprocity treaty.

The foregoing figures show the difference in the volume of trade and the value of trade prior to and during the time of the operation of the treaty of reciprocity of 1876.

The Chairman. Does your table show whether there is any material falling off in the trade in consequence of the repeal of the tax on sugar?

Mr. Simpson. The figures do not show that conclusively, for this reason, that the season following the adoption of the McKinley bill the gross tonnage was increased very much, but the price was reduced for that reason. The actual figures show the production of sugar was much greater than it had been prior. Some new sugar plantations came into bearing that were not producing before.

The Chairman. Have the business enterprises with which you have been associated made any examination into steaming coals in what you call the northwestern Pacific, that is, along the line of the United States and the British Possessions on the Pacific Ocean?

Mr. Simpson. I have In a general way. Of some particular kinds of coal I made a specific examination for the purpose of using them on our line of steamship.

The Chairman. Where was your line designed to run; from the United States to where?

Mr. Simpson. To points on Puget Sound; that is to say, Victoria, Seattle, and Tacoma.

The Chairman. Where did you expect to get your supply of fuel?

Mr. Simpson. It depended very largely on where we got the greatest amount of our freight. If we could get a sufficient quantity of freight to warrant us in going into Victoria to stop there, we would have to get coal from the Comax mines in California. If it were not advisable to go in there we proposed to get a quantity of coal in Roslyn in Washington, which is mined exclusively by the Northern Pacific. It is equal to any coal in the State of Washington; but the Vancouver coal is a little cheaper, from the fact that the Northern Pacific Railroad Company put an arbitrary rate on carrying coal to the seaboard, because they had to haul over the mountains.

The Chairman. What is the length of the haul to the sound?

Mr. Simpson. About 75 miles.

The Chairman. Is there no coal available on Puget Sound?

Mr. Simpson. That is the Roslyn coal.

The Chairman. Is there no coal on Puget Sound but that which is brought 70 or 75 miles by rail?

Mr. Simpson. Within 7 or 8 miles of the sound.

The Chairman. Is that good coal?

Mr. Simpson. It is fairly good coal, but not so good as Roslyn coal.

S. Doc. 281, pt 6----72


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